While the information about cannabis edibles and pet poisoning prevention in this blog is certainly useful for any pet owner, the information and free download kit are intended for use by veterinary practices.
With cannabis now legal across Canada and more U.S. states legalizing cannabis, more dogs are accidentally eating cannabis edibles and suffering toxicity from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. While THC is rarely fatal on its own for dogs if treated, cannabis in pre-made edible forms like gummies or candies often contain xylitol, which is extremely toxic and potentially lethal for dogs.
Cannabis edibles may also contain chocolate, raisins, or macadamia nuts—foods also toxic to dogs and commonly found in cakes, cookies, and other regular foods found in homes during the holiday season. So, as part of client education efforts this season about the dangers of certain foods to dogs, veterinary practices are encouraged to include cannabis and poisoning prevention information as part of the mix.
Available for a limited time, your free kit includes:
- An infographic with pet cannabis poisoning prevention tips for clients.
- An educational client handout—Cannabis (Marijuana) Intoxication in Cats and Dogs: Synopsis of a ClientEd handout—that you can print and hand to clients or send by email.
- Three social media images that you can post on Facebook to further educate your clients about the importance of pet cannabis poisoning prevention.
Why the Edibles Market Is Growing—and Projected to Get Bigger
Sales of adult-use and medical edibles grew by 60% across seven state markets—from $767 million in 2019 to $1.23 billion in 2020—according to MJBizDaily. Similarly, Canadians spent $87 million on recreational cannabis edibles in 2020, which outpaced industry growth for the year.
COVID Played a Part in Cannabis Growth
Under stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, 15% of cannabis users tried cannabis for the first during the pandemic, according to a 2021 Maru Public Opinion survey commissioned by Cronos Group.
Why Edibles Are Appealing to People
- Edibles are seen as a convenient way to consume THC for people who don’t want to smoke. In a 2021 Maru Public Opinion survey, 46% of cannabis users singled out gummies as their favorite form of edibles.
- Edibles also offer specific THC dosages. Where THC consumption can be difficult to control when consuming cannabis in dried flower or leaf form, edibles come as servings with specific THC dosages ranging from 2.5 milligrams and up. So, consumers can purchase edibles with THC levels according to their tolerance and comfort levels.
- As cannabis stigma slowly fades and normalization grows, cannabis edibles are viewed as a discreet and more socially acceptable consumption method.
Projected Market Growth
With such a lucrative cannabis edibles market before them, cannabis companies are naturally gearing up to expand the market. As MJBizDaily recently reported, “The increase is leading cannabis companies to pour efforts into developing new product types, including faster-acting and strain-specific edibles.”
Market Growth Has Increased Pet Poisonings
Given the sales surge in cannabis edibles, veterinarians and the Pet Poison Helpline have seen a surge in calls about pet poisoning from cannabis edibles, including edibles sweetened with xylitol.
- In April 2021, for example, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported calls to the Pet Poison Helpline about xylitol pet poisonings have more than doubled in the past five years, and cases “include dogs that have eaten gummies or other edible forms of marijuana.”
- “As the use of marijuana increases nationally, so does the consumption of THC-infused edibles—some of which contain xylitol,” writes Ahna Brutlag, DVM, on the Pet Poison Helpline website. As a case example, “A California dog recently ingested more than 30 THC-infused mints that were sweetened with xylitol.”
- In a July 2021 interview with the Waterloo Region Record, Anne Woolstencroft, DVM, said she regularly sees dogs who’ve consumed “edible marijuana products such as gummies, cookies, brownies, or cake.”
To save time doing this and reduce call volumes that may result from pets accidentally eating cannabis edibles, download our free Pet Cannabis Poisoning Prevention Kit.
To further assist you in client education related to cannabis, pet safety, and seasonal food risks, you may also be interested in the following shareable info:
- Cannabis, CBD and Your Pet – includes a video interview with Dr. Mark Stephenson, LifeLearn’s Chief Veterinary Officer
- Chocolate Isn’t the Only Potentially Fatal Toxin for Pets – covers cannabis, pain relivers, and dangerous seasonal foods and plants
- 7 Holiday Foods NOT to Feed Pets – includes onions, garlic, and other cooking ingredients